The COVID-19 Chronicles, Part 1

Salvador Zuniga CaceresBy Tommy Airey

This is a fictional account rooted in reality. 

“We must shake our conscience free of the rapacious capitalism, racism, and patriarchy that will only assure our own self-destruction. Our Mother Earth — militarized, fenced-in, poisoned, a place where basic rights are systematically violated — demands that we take action.”—Berta Cáceres (1971-2016)

A decade ago, Aden Alvarenga fled everything he knew in Honduras for a land flowing with milk and honey called “California.” He journeyed north with his Tio Tejada who had been working with Berta Caceres to save sacred rivers from foreign developers cashing in on dam projects. In the months after the military coup, soldiers who were trained in the United States, ramped up their threats and intimidation on Tio and their band of Indigenous troublemakers. His witness protection program required drastic measures so he recruited his nephew to head north to stay with a cousin he barely knew in a place called San Juan Capistrano, named after a white priest who came to Turtle Island to forcibly convert Indigenous peoples to colonial Christianity. Continue reading

Divine Disobedience

CPIBy Mark Van Steenwyk, the executive director of the Center for Prophetic Imagination

Christians in our society have a problem with authority—not that we are too disobedient, but that we aren’t disobedient enough. Howard Zinn once wrote: “Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience…Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and starvation and stupidity, and war, and cruelty.”

In the middle of the 20th Century, feminist theologian Dorthee Sölle coined the term “christofascism.” Sölle experienced an authoritarian church during Nazi Germany. However, she saw the same imperial authoritarian form of Christianity alive and well in the United States after the war…and even foresaw the way in which Christianity would be used as a weapon of supremacy in modern America.
Continue reading

Imagination Battle

index“We are in an imagination battle.

Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown and Renisha McBride and so many others are dead because, in some white imagination, they were dangerous. And that imagination is so respected that those who kill, based on an imagined, radicalized fear of Black people, are rarely held accountable.

Imagination has people thinking they can go from being poor to a millionaire as part of a shared American dream. Imagination turns Brown bombers into terrorists and white bombers into mentally ill victims. Imagination gives us borders, gives us superiority, gives us race as an indicator of ability. I often feel I am trapped inside someone else’s capability. I often feel I am trapped inside someone’ else’s imagination, and I must engage my own imagination in order to break free.”
― Adrienne Maree Brown, Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds

We are not at War

RubyFrom the front porch of Ruby Sales (March 24, 2020).

We are not at war. Rather we are facing a humanitarian crisis. Our lives and futures depend on knowing the difference

My friends this is a long read , but I believe that it is worthy of your time and consideration.

It is important to understand that we are not at war as Trump and others declared. Rather, we are facing a humanitarian crisis. You might wonder what difference does it make how we call it. In my estimation it makes a difference between life and death- who lives and who dies – as well as how we treat and value each other. Our answers to these questions determine our approach and solutions. Continue reading

Another Story

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Pictures of Money, flickr, cc

By Ken Sehested

We have a lot of competition for our attention these days. I urge you to give a little space for this matter, which is unfolding right now in Congress.

“Any time there is a crisis and Washington is in the middle of it is an opportunity for guys like me.” —industry lobbyist on Capitol Hill

“Take Boeing. The aerospace giant of course wants a $60bn bailout. Financial problems for this corporation predated the crisis, with the mismanagement that led to the 737 Max as well as defense and space products that don’t work (I noted last July a bailout was coming). The corporation paid out $65bn in stock buybacks and dividends over the last 10 years. . . . Continue reading

COVID-19 is Disproportionately Killing Poor People

By Tim Nafziger

The latest analysis of fatalities in Italy caused by is that “more than 75% had high blood pressure, about 35% had diabetes and a third suffered from heart disease.”*

This takes the socio-political implications of COVID-19 to a whole new disturbing level. It means that people who don’t care about poor people (who are disproportionately impacted by diabetes and high blood pressure**) and chronically ill people may well decide that they can take the same attitude as spring breakers in Miami who say “If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I’m not going to let it stop me from partying.”*** While the reality is that anyone could die from this disease, some of us have much better survival odds than others. Continue reading

A Practice of Noticing

Alice WalkerAlice Walker, from an interview, when asked about the inspiration behind her book of poetry Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart (2015):

The advice from our Tibetan ancestors and teachers is that we learn to take the arrow – of suffering, despair, hopelessness, fear – out of our own heart first, before attempting to bring down the archer who shot it.  This involves a practice of noticing, on a deeper level than most people traditionally live, what our actual pain is.  Accepting that we are suffering, and resolving to do something about it: first, by simply noticing it.  And not letting distractions like eating too much, watching TV or Facebook entries, etc., get in the way of truly listening to, and hearing our deepest self.  It is from the deep self that inspiration and instruction comes.  We must resist oppression, of course, but we must be mindful of exactly why and how we must proceed.  In other words, some form of consistent meditation is in order.